Department to Honor HART Graduates at May 12 Reception and Awards Ceremony

History of Art majors and minors and their families and friends are invited to attend the department’s reception and awards ceremony for our graduating seniors on Thursday, May 12, from 2 to 4 pm. The event will be held in the atrium of Cohen Memorial Hall on the Peabody campus, and awards will be presented at 3 pm.

Graduates and their families are also invited to view the current exhibits in the Fine Arts Gallery near the atrium from noon to 4:00 pm.  Out of the Vault:  Stories of People and Things, a student-curated exhibition exploring the dynamic relationships between people and things, will open that same day.  The twelve objects selected from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Collection seem to have little in common, ranging in origin from the ancient Mediterranean to twentieth-century Nashville.  The life stories of these objects, from their creation, life, death, and rebirth, are as complex and diverse as our own.

johnthebaptist (2)Out of the Vault investigates the journeys of objects across space and time and the meanings attached to them by the people with whom they came into contact.  Although we tend to think of inanimate objects as somehow inert, this exhibition shows that objects have agency.  Not only do people give meanings to objects, but also objects themselves can have an influence upon individuals with whom they interact.  The viewer is invited to engage with these remarkable objects and add one’s own perspective to their evolving stories.

This exhibition is the third in a partnership between the History of Art Department and the Fine Arts Gallery resulting in a student-curated exhibition.  This year Mireille Lee, assistant professor of history of art, taught the course entitled “Exhibiting Historical Art:  What is this thing?”  The class benefited from a guest lecture by Erica Kelly, senior exhibit developer at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

On view through September 9, this exhibit was conceived and designed by Haley Bowse ’19, Lilia Briskin ’19, Joe Eibert ’19, Sophia Jorasch ’16, Gabrielle Levitt ’18, Lauren Linquest ’19, Edward McElwreath ’18, Sarah Robinson ’18, Vivian Saxon ’18, Rebekah Smith ’16, Clancy Taylor ’16, and Daniel Weitz ’16.

A second exhibit in the gallery, on view through May 26, is Close Readings:  American Abstract Art from the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, featuring a wide range of abstract art by some of America’s most prominent artists, including Josef Albers, William Anastasi, Ross Bleckner, Stuart Davis, Sam Durant, Sam Gilliam, Cheryl Goldsleger, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, Harvey Quaytman, Martin Puryear, and Mark di Suvero.

The gallery will be open on Commencement Day (Friday, May 13) from noon to 4 pm, and Saturday, May 14, from 1 to 5 pm.  Gallery hours for the summer are Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 pm; and Saturday, 1-5 pm. The gallery will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

*Juan Alonso Villabrille y Ron (1663-1728), Spanish.  Head of John the Baptist, wood with traces of polychromy, 17th-18th century,